Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey want the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to consider evacuation plans and population density in the re-licensing process for the nuclear power plant.
In light of Japan's nuclear crisis, New York lawmakers are taking a closer look at the safety regulations surrounding the Indian Point nuclear power point located in Buchanan, New York.
The two reactors at Indian Point are due for federal relicensing in 2013 and 2015. Engel and Lowey said they want Congressional hearings before plants in highly populated areas get new licenses.
Congressman Engel said he was particularly concerned about the plant's location in a major population center, as the plant is located 30 miles north of Manhattan.
"It seems to me that it was foolish to have built it there in the first place. If it was being sited today, there's no way there would've been approval to build it there," he said.
Regulators of the power grid said that without Indian Point, the downstate area of New York would face blackouts. But after a meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he believes power sources could be built to replace the roughly 2,100 megawatts that Indian Point produces.